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Updated: 24 min 6 sec ago

What makes <strong>scientific theories</strong> true? Falsifiability or observability work in some cases, but the madcap ideas that push the borders of knowledge require a different approach

Thu, 04/05/2018 - 16:43
What makes scientific theories true? Falsifiability or observability work in some cases, but the madcap ideas that push the borders of knowledge require a different approach

By the mid-&lsquo;60s, <strong>Joan Didion</strong> was bored with writing film reviews. A murder case helped her hone a neat trick: how to convey a personal matter at a distance

Wed, 04/04/2018 - 18:55
By the mid-‘60s, Joan Didion was bored with writing film reviews. A murder case helped her hone a neat trick: how to convey a personal matter at a distance

The <strong>two Tennessee Williamses</strong>. He made sure his wildly transgressive stories reached only a niche audience. His sanitized Broadway big-hitters were another case entirely

Wed, 04/04/2018 - 18:55
The two Tennessee Williamses. He made sure his wildly transgressive stories reached only a niche audience. His sanitized Broadway big-hitters were another case entirely

The writerly imperialism of <strong>Dave Eggers</strong>. His work is a combination of twee visual details, Muslim characters, and a well-meaning American exceptionalism

Wed, 04/04/2018 - 18:55
The writerly imperialism of Dave Eggers. His work is a combination of twee visual details, Muslim characters, and a well-meaning American exceptionalism

For 200 years, <strong><em>Frankenstein</em></strong> has been read as a warning against unfettered scientific inquiry. That reflects a profound misunderstanding of the story

Tue, 04/03/2018 - 17:44
For 200 years, Frankenstein has been read as a warning against unfettered scientific inquiry. That reflects a profound misunderstanding of the story

As Kate Manne and Mary Beard plumb the depths of the patriarchy, a question emerges: <strong>Has anything changed since <em>The Odyssey</em></strong>?

Tue, 04/03/2018 - 17:44
As Kate Manne and Mary Beard plumb the depths of the patriarchy, a question emerges: Has anything changed since The Odyssey?

Beware the <strong>grammar bullies</strong>! Morality and language are linked, argued Ursula K. Le Guin. But morality and correctness are not the same thing

Tue, 04/03/2018 - 17:44
Beware the grammar bullies! Morality and language are linked, argued Ursula K. Le Guin. But morality and correctness are not the same thing

The <strong>man behind the dictionary</strong>. Noah Webster Jr. had superiority issues, a penchant for political incorrectness, and a zeal for Americanizing English

Mon, 04/02/2018 - 18:40
The man behind the dictionary. Noah Webster Jr. had superiority issues, a penchant for political incorrectness, and a zeal for Americanizing English

<strong>Harold Bloom</strong> has had it with comma counters, gender commissars, and literary critics. He is, to his own mind, a lone voice in the wilderness

Mon, 04/02/2018 - 18:40
Harold Bloom has had it with comma counters, gender commissars, and literary critics. He is, to his own mind, a lone voice in the wilderness

<strong>James Baldwin in Hollywood</strong>. He was there to make a movie about Malcom X. It didn't go well. &ldquo;I would rather be horsewhipped ... than repeat the adventure&rdquo;

Mon, 04/02/2018 - 18:40
James Baldwin in Hollywood. He was there to make a movie about Malcom X. It didn't go well. “I would rather be horsewhipped ... than repeat the adventure”

In 1941, W.H. Auden taught a class at the University of Michigan that required <strong>6,000 pages of reading</strong>. Would a college student take such a course today? Yes, it turns out

Sun, 04/01/2018 - 18:54
In 1941, W.H. Auden taught a class at the University of Michigan that required 6,000 pages of reading. Would a college student take such a course today? Yes, it turns out

Before modern philosophy, there were <strong>Erasmus and Luther</strong>. Their dispute stands as a lasting reminder that among the threats to human flourishing, misplaced certitude shouldn&rsquo;t be underestimated

Sun, 04/01/2018 - 18:54
Before modern philosophy, there were Erasmus and Luther. Their dispute stands as a lasting reminder that among the threats to human flourishing, misplaced certitude shouldn’t be underestimated

"<strong>Populism</strong>" is a label often used but little understood. It's incoherent an ideology yet not to be dismissed as deranged or imaginary. Populism is a disease in the body politic

Sun, 04/01/2018 - 18:54
"Populism" is a label often used but little understood. It's incoherent an ideology yet not to be dismissed as deranged or imaginary. Populism is a disease in the body politic

When <strong>music went minimalist</strong>. Boos echoed around Carnegie Hall; patrons headed for the exits; a woman banged her shoe on the stage, imploring the musicians to stop

Fri, 03/30/2018 - 18:35
When music went minimalist. Boos echoed around Carnegie Hall; patrons headed for the exits; a woman banged her shoe on the stage, imploring the musicians to stop

<strong>Life with Doris Lessing</strong>. An author attempts to enact her radical concept of freedom. But can a life so liberated regain a conventional shape?

Fri, 03/30/2018 - 18:35
Life with Doris Lessing. An author attempts to enact her radical concept of freedom. But can a life so liberated regain a conventional shape?

The poet <strong>Joan Murray</strong> died at 24. Her manuscripts, sent to be preserved, apparently fell off the back of a truck. Is it fair, then, to call her a minor poet?

Fri, 03/30/2018 - 18:35
The poet Joan Murray died at 24. Her manuscripts, sent to be preserved, apparently fell off the back of a truck. Is it fair, then, to call her a minor poet?

Galileo&rsquo;s <strong>invention of the telescope</strong> not only hinted at black magic and broke with the church but upset philosophers as well. &ldquo;To observe through those glasses gives me a headache,&rdquo; said one professor

Thu, 03/29/2018 - 18:11
Galileo’s invention of the telescope not only hinted at black magic and broke with the church but upset philosophers as well. “To observe through those glasses gives me a headache,” said one professor

<strong>What happens to anthropology</strong> when its fundamental divisions are undone &mdash; when magic and reason, and &ldquo;primitive&rdquo; and &ldquo;modern,&rdquo; no longer organize the field?

Thu, 03/29/2018 - 18:11
What happens to anthropology when its fundamental divisions are undone — when magic and reason, and “primitive” and “modern,” no longer organize the field?

When <strong>fiction fuels the future</strong>. Sun-powered screens, electric weather, telepathy via battery &mdash; by picturing what&rsquo;s to come, does science fiction help us invent it?

Thu, 03/29/2018 - 18:11
When fiction fuels the future. Sun-powered screens, electric weather, telepathy via battery — by picturing what’s to come, does science fiction help us invent it?

Joanna Russ isn't much remembered in the annals of science fiction, nor <strong>women&rsquo;s writing</strong>, and certainly not American literature. But her influence is felt all the same

Wed, 03/28/2018 - 19:01
Joanna Russ isn't much remembered in the annals of science fiction, nor women’s writing, and certainly not American literature. But her influence is felt all the same